Hypoxic Moment, a poem . . . and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

“She closed her eyes and began very gently picking imaginary flowers from the blanket.  Then, peacefully and without any struggle, she stopped breathing.  It was January 1930.” from The Woman Who Remembered Paradise [about Ascencion Solorsano] by Larry Engelmann, San Francisco Chronicle, July 10, 1988 as quoted in A Story Also Grows, poems by Charlotte Muse

anyone who was anyone
was lined up along El Camino Real
waiting his/her/they/them’s turn
i took my place, but dropped off
to visit penny arcade, it was
the day she ran out of quarters
sang “this’ll be the day that I die”
san francisco bay poured
into my lungs, filling them
it preached
life is death
death is life
penny’s head
rattled with plucked stars
and blue june descended
like a spontaneous smile
she chanted
free at last
free at last

then we strolled El Camino Real
hand in hand
waiting our turn
penny arcade
blue june
and me

© 2019, Jamie Dedes


This week’s challenge is to write about a suffocating situation. It may be a literal near-death experience as is mine or a figurative one, perhaps something stifling that went on or is going on politically/culturally in your country, or at home, school, or work.  Share your poem/s on theme  . . .

  • please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
  • please submit poems only, no photos, illustrations, essays, stories, or other prose


Poems submitted on theme in the comments section here will be published in next Tuesday’s collection. Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published. If you are new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, be sure to include a link to your website, blog, and/or Amazon page to be published along with your poem. Thank you!

Deadline:  Monday, June 22 by 8 pm Pacific Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, check The Time Zone Converter.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know and befriend other poets who might be new to you.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.

Jamie Dedes:

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“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton